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Massive 'unsanctioned' Vancouver 420 event causes 'turf damage,' will take weeks to repair

"Vancouver parks are not suitable spaces for large, unsanctioned gatherings, such as these."
The massive Vancouver 4/20 event caused turf damage that will require several weeks of remediation to repair.

Vancouver's massive 4/20 event at Sunset Beach caused turf damage that will require weeks of remediation. 

A large crowd gathered at the city beach to protest for more relaxed cannabis restrictions and to enjoy food, live music, merchandise, and, of course, marijuana.

But the event wasn't permitted by the city, as it did not meet several special events permitting terms and conditions, including "liability insurance, permit fees, adequate ground protection and safety/traffic management plans."

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation respected the attendees' right to protest but says that "Vancouver parks are not suitable spaces for large, unsanctioned gatherings, such as these."

Since 5 a.m. on Friday (April 21), park crews worked with city sanitation to remove garbage and debris from Sunset Beach Park and Thorton Park, where a second, smaller 4/20 event was held.

"Initial evaluations of the sites show some turf damage that will require remediation over the next few weeks," a spokesperson for the Park Board told V.I.A. in an emailed statement. 

"A detailed site assessment is underway and remediation costs will be determined upon completion."

Only one injury reported at Vancouver 4/20 event

Vancouver Police Department Const. Tania Visintin told V.I.A. that about 1000 people gathered at Sunset Beach and roughly 700 gathered at Thorton Park. 

Just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, VPD officers were flagged down to help a teenage girl "who appeared in medical distress." The girl had reportedly taken a hit from a bong with her friends and "immediately went in and out of consciousness," she said. 

Following the incident, the girl was taken to hospital by paramedics and police stayed with her until her parents arrived.

"I believe she will make a full recovery," Visintin said.

"There is no evidence to connect the drugs to vendors in the park or if they were brought in."